I’m sharing this today, because I’ve probably read it a million times in my journey toward self – love. And because earlier this week, as some of you have read, I had a melt down that has helped me to remember that I can heal, yes, but sometimes there are still scars that get re-opened every once in awhile, and that’s ok, too.
Understanding Your Wounds
“I do not understand my own behaviour: I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate” (Romans 7:15)
Paul’s cry of anguish has a universal ring to it. Who of us has not felt deeply the frustration of being trapped in addictive behaviours from which we would like to be delivered? Those behaviours that have become deep wounds in our spirits? Those that keep our true selves in bondage?
In praying about my wounds I have come to believe that the reason these wounds take so long to heal is that I spend more time attacking them than trying to understand them. I keep trying to clog up the hole made by the wound. The reality is I keep stuffing my wound with other addictions, always hoping for some miraculous cure. The healing needs to happen right there in that broken place because it is there that I am vulnerable. It is there in that crack in my spirit that the Light of Christ can slip through and help me understand the wound. When Jesus rose, his wounds were still visible. The scars could be seen right in the midst of the glory. Is my life, patterned after Christ, to be any different?
The scars in my life have become my badges of victory and glory. I am able to see that I will probably have to live with some of the pain I’ve inherited from my cluttered life. I am learning to befriend the scars and find the gifts underneath.
Sometimes the scars open up again and I see that the wounds are not completely healed. I approach my wounds differently now though. The clutter that I once used to clog up these wounds, I now send away. I send it on its way gently. It has been a tool that God used to help me experience my powerlessness. In some mysterious way, then, my clutter becomes my treasure.
I lift the clutter out of my life.
I must let go of my ego-self.
I’ve known this part of myself intimately.
It’s like an old friend.
It’s a bit hard to send it on its way.
It has become a kind of cherished sin for me
a dis-ease that I am familiar with.
Still, it has hindered my growth
and kept me from adoring.
It has prevented me from noticing
the holy ground of my life.
And so, I kiss it good-bye.
Yes, I kiss it.
I embrace it.
It is part of myself
I pray for its conversion.
All the clutter in my life
that I have clung to
with such devotion,
will be born again
in some new and better form.
It is the shadow side of myself.
If I befriend it
it will arise
from the ashes of falseness
into the glory of truth.
My uncontrollable anger
becomes a passionate, prophetic zeal.
My possessive clutching
becomes a generous giving.
My abundance of unnecessary words
melts in the one great word.
My deafening noise
becomes the sound of silence.
My need for approval from others
becomes a need to affirm others.
My need to control
becomes my need to share.
My fear is changed into love
my anxiety into trust.
Yes, all the clutter of my life, that ego stuff that held me back, when embraced and owned can change before my very eyes into grace. What was a hindrance becomes a blessing. What was an enemy becomes a friend. What was a darkness is now my light. What was my clutter is now my treasure.
by Marina Wiedeker, “Seasons of the Heart”
Until we can not only accept but learn to love our shadow selves, the path to self – love, I believe, will remain elusive. This excerpt, over the years, has reminded me of my need for that love – especially in the darkest parts of myself. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. 🙂